The Metropolitan Opera House of Philadelphia - the hulking white building on the corner of north Broad and Poplar Streets - has a storied past that began in 1908, with the big box built by theater impresario Oscar Hammerstein I serving variously as the home to the Philadelphia Opera Company, a church, and a home for boxing matches and basketball games.
The Met has been dark as music venue since the 1980s, but there are plans for that to change. The building is about to undergo extensive renovations which developer Eric Blumenfeld - also behind the revival of North Broad's Divine Lorraine hotel - told Curbed Philadelphia in May are expected to cost $35 million. There are unspecified long term plans to book national acts in the 4000 capacity theater, adding to Philadelphia's already crowded midsized venue scene.
But before serious renovations begin, The Met is hosting a Jazz Lives Philadelphia pop-up show on Saturday night. It's free if you don't need to sit, and $50 will get you a VIP ticket that includes a seat, an artist meet and greet, and other benefits.
Top billing goes to Ted Nash, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra saxophonist and the leader of the Jazz Composers Collective whose 2010 album Portrait in Seven Shades was the first JALC album to feature new music writeen by anyone other than Wynton Marsalis.
Also on the bill: Operatic jazz singer Candice Hoyes, the Jazz Lives Philadelphia Big Band featuring Joe Block and Josh Lee & the Family.